Answers to two questions

Several weeks before any upcoming trip abroad, I tend to get certain questions from my family, friends, and colleagues. I’ll take a moment to answer the two most common ones.

Are you excited about your trip?

Short answer: No.

When I hear this question weeks before my flight leaves, the answer is almost always no. For better or worse, my life doesn’t stop for months because of a three-week trip. I still have to put in forty hours at the office each week, I still have chores to do around the house, and so on. I get excited when it’s time to get excited. Usually that’s the night before I leave.

Have you finished packing?

Short answer: No.

Some people have travel wardrobes that are completely separate from their everyday wardrobes. I’m not one of those people. The clothes I wear day in and day out are, for the most part, also the clothes I travel with. A couple days before a trip, I wash the clothes I wear regularly. The day before the trip, I maybe wash one last load, lay out what I’ll wear the following day, and then pack what needs to come with me. The packing itself, on a bad day, takes an hour.

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